Stephen and Judith Clegg are in the assembly in Killamarsh, near Sheffield, and serve the Lord in prison work.
Why do we worry! If God is for us, who can be against us! We have had a concern as to our future in Moorland Prison as they were trying to recruit an Anglican priest which there has been little/no interest. However, the Lord moved in an amazing way and opened a door for a work in another prison. HMP Wealstun had 2 chaplains leaving (one retiring / one moving to Durham Prison) the Governor wanted a meeting with me and asked if I would be able to work for 2 days each week in HMP Wealstun. This work was commenced in January 2015 and I can report that the Lord is giving much encouragement.
Because of this the work in Moorland has therefore reduced from 4 days to 2 as I am now at Wealstun on those other days. This is how my week works - Moorland: Monday/Wednesday, Wealstun: Tuesday/Thursday. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my main preaching/teaching days, the other 2 are for outreach and support as I move around the prisons speaking with the lads and of course the staff (They too need the Saviour) Our work load is increasing, so is His strength.
I would value prayers as I travel to the prisons, Moorland is 32 miles each way, Wealstun is 54 miles each way. (Both on extremely busy roads) On the first Sunday of each month I have the priviledge to take the morning service at Moorlands where up to 60 lads & officers can attend. It usually takes the form of a ‘family service’.
Moorland - is much more settled now after so many years of being there, on Wednesdays I have 2 separate groups, the first one from 1.15pm to 2.45pm the second 5.15pm to 6.45pm. Both groups are very well attended and there are now lads in the groups who have trusted Christ and have continued steadfastly and are now able to assist in leading these groups.
Wealstun - is very much a pioneering work as I walk around the prison. The previous chaplains have tended to stay in the chapel and wait for the lads to come to them; I like to be out and about building bridges. On a Tuesday afternoon I have commenced a ‘Journey through the Bible’ study group, and I can report that the interest is amazing. Within 6 weeks there are now over 20 lads on the list to attend. There are no gimmicks, but the lads listen as I teach them the basics of the bible, we are currently going through Genesis and the guys are mesmerised as I point out the wonders of creation and the ‘awesome’ God behind it all. To see the lads reactions as they hear for the first time where the rainbow comes from and what promises are behind it. Last week I spoke on Abraham and Isaac and drew the parallel to Calvary. The father willingly sacrificing his son, then the substitute was found. I then pointed them to the perfect sacrifice where there was NO substitute. Christ died for our sins. The group is from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm.
School Work - Friday is the day I am not in prison, but the Lord has found me something to do...... The local junior school had ‘religion’ as part of the curriculum; they asked if I would go in and speak on the Bible, and why it is so important to a Christian. The first time I went in I didn’t know what to expect. Two classes joined together in one room and I was introduced as Big Steve who was here to take the lesson. !!! (The whole lesson, not just part of it) It went well, and I was asked to go back a couple of weeks later and teach some stories from the bible, which I was only too pleased to do. It has now become a regular thing on a Friday every 2 or 3 weeks for me to go into school and take the lesson from 1.15 pm till 2pm. I have now been asked to explain the different religions, and their beliefs. I dealt with Judaism last week, and I have Islam to speak on this week. I would value prayers, as I point out that God is not a God of Religion, He is a God of Relationships who sent His Son to die for our sins. Pray this door of opportunity will remain open, the two class teachers sit in the lesson with me, and they are kept on their toes to make sure they too are listening.